We’ve all had that moment: You’re in the middle of doing something — anything — when all of a sudden this overpowering, all-consuming sensation hits where all you want is some chocolate. Or chips. Or Skittles. Or whatever it is that you just suddenly need to have.
While this speaks to the bigger issue of poor blood sugar management (which requires a number of separate blog posts), I wanted to write a practical post about what you can do when cravings for salty foods strike so you can nip them in the bud without falling off the diet rails.
Healthy Salty Snacks
Unshelled, roasted pumpkin seeds
These are the pumpkin seeds that look like they’ve come straight out of a pumpkin, not the shelled kind. I usually get these at Bulk Barn. They’re loaded with salt to the point where I usually can only eat about 10 before being fully salt-satisfied.
NOTE: Pumpkin seeds — both shelled and unshelled — are high in calories due to their fat content. Though it’s the good kind of fat, that doesn’t mean you should go eating a whole cup of these bad boys (that’s 285 calories right there!). Stick to about 40 seeds for 70 calories and 5g of healthy fat. (Trust me, 40 seeds will be plenty for your salt craving!)
No, I’m not suggesting you go off and do some somersaults to tackle your salt craving (but report back if that works). Somersaults are a brand of snacks found at Whole Foods and other health food stores. Packed with healthy fats, plant-based protein, and vitamin E, these snacks revolve around the mighty sunflower and sesame seed. With the same amount of protein as almonds — but with fewer calories and less fat — the sea salt flavour gives you that little kick you need to satiate that salt craving.
Given their high sodium content (25 percent!), olives are sure to get rid of that pesky salt craving. 10 large olives contain about 60 calories with 10% of those calories coming from fat (6g total). However, thankfully these fats are mainly monounsaturated, yielding some great health benefits.
I’m not talking about movie theatre popcorn that’s loaded with oils, butter, and salt (although I have to say that is one of my absolute favourite unhealthy foods on the planet). Homemade, air-popped popcorn is actually a surprisingly healthy snack! Three cups yields about 95 calories and 3g of fibre — the same amount as an orange or baked potato! Since it’s mostly air, it’s a wonderfully filling snack. Experiment with different toppings like sea salt and rosemary done in a little coconut oil or vinegar, sea salt and pepper!
5. Kale chips
I like these because they give you a nice crisp and crunch without the calories of potato chips. Plus, they’re seriously so easy to make yourself! Thankfully I have a recipe for these on my site.
If you’re looking for a quick buy-and-go option, Beanitos are a great choice (and I’ve seen them at my local Longo’s and Loblaws). These preservative- and GMO-free chips are made from beans, containing: 140 calories, 4g of protein, 6g of fibre, 7g of fat per 12 chips (with no added sugar!). Each chip is thick and hefty, meaning that the recommended portion size of 12 chips should do the trick for your salt craving.
The Bottom Line
Don’t feel discouraged when a craving strikes; they happen to the best of us! But I’m a big believer that small, consistent changes can yield great benefits. The best thing about (almost) every item on this list is that they’re foods that have been left in their natural state and that you can make your own!
You Tell Me!
What are some of your favourite go-to salty snacks? Share in the comments below!